College baseball: How bats have affected stats through the years

The change to aluminum bats caused a rise in offense, but recent NCAA legislations have prompted a swing back to normalcy.
Compiled by John Helsley, Staff Writer, jhelsley@opubco.com Published: May 22, 2012
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College baseball went to aluminum bats in 1974. What followed was a steady rise in offense, peaking in 1998, when records were shattered, including many at the College World Series that made the game more resemble a slowpitch softball slugfest.

In the title game alone, when Southern Cal beat Arizona State 21-14, nine home runs were hit in what became a genesis for change.

Prompted by NCAA bat legislations, the numbers nationally have swung back toward normalcy, dropping dramatically the past two seasons with the move to a BBCOR standard.

Category (per game)

1974

1998

2012*

Runs

5.3

7.1

5.47

Home Runs

0.49

1.06

0.47

Batting Avg.

.274

.306

.275

Strike Outs

5.9

7.1

6.88

ERA

3.79

6.125

4.55

* 2012 averages are midseason data


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